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Sodium Channel (Animated) 3D Model
Sodium channels are integral membrane proteins that form ion channels, conducting sodium ions (Na+) through a cell’s plasma membrane.They belong to the superfamily of cation channels and can be classified according to the trigger that opens the channel for such ions, i.e. either a voltage-change (“Voltage-gated” sodium channels also called ) or a binding of a substance (a ligand) to the channel (ligand-gated sodium channels).
In excitable cells such as neurons, myocytes, and certain types of glia, sodium channels are responsible for the rising phase of action potentials. These channels go through 3 different states called resting, active and inactive states. Even though the resting and inactive states wouldn’t allow the ions to flow through the channels the difference exists with respect to their structural conformation.
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